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Gold Hill Hiking Trail - Colombine Hondo Wilderness Study Area

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
View south from side of Gold Hill. Looking towards Wheeler Peak. – Jim O'Donnell

ADA Accessibility Notes


As one of the highest peaks in New Mexico, Gold Hill is far from a hill and thanks to it being separated by dozens of miles from other high peaks, the view from the top is astounding - and it is a great place to catch of glimpse of bighorn sheep.

The shortest route is the Bull-of-the-Woods Trail that begins in the Taos Ski Valley. Long Canyon, beginning from the same trailhead is also a wonderful, albeit slightly longer, route. Neither of these routes are technical and both pass through fabulous pine groves, stands of aspen and into expansive alpine meadows above tree line. It can easily be hiked in half a day, but there are also excellent camp sites along the route.

The trailhead for the Bull-of-the-Woods Trail (as well as Long Canyon) is located at the parking lot of Taos Ski Valley. From the Town of Taos you will drive north on New Mexico (NM) state road 522 for about four miles. At the stop light, turn right (east) on NM 150 and drive through the village of Arroyo Seco and towards the ski valley for about fifteen miles. The signed trailhead is at the uppermost northeast end of the paved parking lot.

Gold Hill can be climbed year round, but the best time is between May and October. Late June, July, and August is the monsoon season and early afternoon thunderstorms are to be kept in mind. Heavy lightening can occur on Gold Hill. Be sure to summit by 10am during this time period so you can be down in time to avoid the worst of the thunderstorms. Winter climbing required skis or snowshoes. Avalanches are known to occur so basic avalanche awareness is necessarry.

Trailhead elevation: 9,390 ft
Summit elevation: 12, 711 ft

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets must remain on leash at all times.

Trail Distance

11 miles

Vertical Gain or Loss

Gain of 3,300ft.

Nearby Places